Some police traffic officers are corrupt and solicit for bribes from motorists but that should not defeat the importance of roadblocks, says Police spokesperson Charity Munganga.
She has advised motorists to stop bribing police officers and then complain later.
Ms Munganga explained that Police roadblocks were not a corruption money making venture but were aimed at preventing loss of life and property, especially during the festive season.
She was reacting to recent complaints by Lusaka residents alleging that police were mounting numerous road blocks in major towns and highways to allegedly harass motorists and make money for themselves corruptly.
Ms Munganga said there was ‘‘a lot of excitement’’ during the festive season, hence the mandate of the police to mount roadblocks and ensure the number of deaths caused through careless and reckless driving were reduced or prevented.
“We are aware of the complaints by the people in Lusaka over the roadblocks mounted by the police and it is unfortunate that they see the exercise as corruption when we are only trying to preserve their lives; there is a lot of excitement that comes up in the festive season which increases accidents and that is what we are avoiding,’’ she said.
Ms Munganga said the road blocks also helped to force motorists pay the road tax and increase Government revenue. She explained that three quarters of the year had elapsed and the number of defaulters of road tax had increased, adding that a lot of people were avoiding the police because they had not yet paid.
The spokesperson said it was for that reason that the police had intensified road patrols to ensure the tax defaulters were brought to book.
She explained that she was aware there were some police officers who were corrupt and pocketed penalty fees from the public.
‘‘We are not completely refuting allegations that some police officers have been collecting money from offenders which they pocket for themselves; we know we have got a few rotten eggs amongst ourselves and it is something we hope won’t continue,’’ Ms Munganga said.
She urged the public to ensure all payments made to the police were receipted or they were given admission of guilt forms for every payment, adding that the fight against corruption was a call for everyone to consider.
Ms Munganga said the public should take responsibility in reporting all corrupt police officers and that the citizens should also ensure they did not involve themselves in corruption.7
‘‘The fight against corruption is a call for all people, we should all take action. I would like to urge all Zambians to report all cases of corrupt officers and also to desist from involving themselves in corrupt practices because it’s a double way issue,’’ she said.